Second Video Abstract Available! – “Older Workers: The 'Unavoidable Obligation' of Extending Our Working Lives?”
Older workers are becoming an increasing topic of research interest and policy concern as the populations of Europe, the United States and many other countries age. Some commentators argue that living longer means that there will be an ‘unavoidable obligation’ to work for longer as well. This article considers the reasons for concern about an ageing workforce. It then looks at the different literatures, which seek to research and understand the position of older workers. It provides a snapshot of the work that those over 50 years of age in the UK currently do and poses the question of whether we want to work for longer or whether a culture of early retirement prevails. It concludes by arguing for a more fine grained understanding of the composition of the older worker cohort, differentiated by class, gender and race and for more research on flexible work, gradual retirement and managing health at work.